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Everglades National Park

Situated in the South of Florida, The Everglades National Park covers 1.5 million acres of land. The park boasts diverse ecosystems and flora, ranging from lowlands, to marine landscapes, to grass prairies, mangrove and pine-lands. Similarly visitors can also visit the Tree Islands, which are an island like forest formation of hardwood, palms and ferns. These foliage dense areas were popular among native Americans and thus where a location of archaeological discovery

The Everglades National Park is an expansive outstanding landscape, home to rich flora and wild life. This World Heritage Site with a remarkable history is sought after for hiking, wildlife and bird watching, kayaking and camping.

Visitors can start their visit at one of the multiple visitor centers, each of which offering educational and informative displays, as well as rest room facilities. The Flamingo Visitor Center and The Gulf Islands Visitor Center have a nearby camping ground, as well as access to boat ramps. Both the Earnest Coe and Shark Valley Visitor centers have nearby walking trails, with the former featuring special exhibitions by artists from time to time. The Gulf Visitor Center is ideal if you would like to visit the Ten Thousand Islands area and the mangrove islands, however these are only accessible by boat.

Wooden trail at DeSoto State Park

For Hiking enthusiasts there are multiple trail one can follow, often divided into 4, Pine Island Trails, Flamingo Trails, Shark Valley Trails and the Gulf Coast Trails. The Pine island trails move through marshes and forest like landscapes such as the Anhinga trails an the Gumbo Limbo trail, which are rich in natural wildlife and flora. The Flamingo trails are closer to the waters of the area, and move along the mangroves and the canals. The Shark Valley Trails include the Otter Cave Hammock trail, which passes through the hardwood forest, and the Bobcat boardwalk. Towering above the park at 65 feet, the Shark Valley observation tower offers a magnificent unobstructed view point. Accessible by boat the Sandfly Island hiking trail, is part of the Gulf Coast trails.

The area is very popular for bird watching and there have been spotting of Osprey, Bald Eagles and Pelicans. Anhinga Trail, is a lovely trail to follow during dry season, regular bird spotting including Anhingas which give the trail its name. Similarly in the Mahogany Hammock, Sparrows, Eagles and Warblers have been spotted during the day and there have been spotting of owls too at night. Paurotis Pond, Snake Bight Trail, Mraztek Pond, Eco Pond, Nile Mile Pond are also likely to have spotting of birds, especially in the morning.

Up close of fungus at DeSoto State Park

The area was occupied by the Calusa tribe, who relied on fishing and the earth for food. Archaeologists found many tool like creations using shells in the vicinity, as well as shell formations used as sacred areas. The Mud Lake Canal is an impeccably intact 3.9 miles canoe canal dating back to the time of native inhabitants. The canal served as a means to connect the Everglades, the Ten Thousand islands and Florida Keys, while avoiding the Gulf of Mexico. The Canal was named a National Historical Landmark in 2006.

There are two seasons at the Everglades, dry season from December through April and Wet Season May to November, with the dry season being the busier between the two, as there is more wild life. The entrance fee is at $30 per vehicle and at $15 per person, with each ticket being valid for 7 consecutive days. Tickers can be purchased from the entrances or online and children enter free of charge.

When in Florida, it is worth allocating at least a day to visit the Everglades. From hikes to bird-watching or a boat tour the Everglades does not disappoint. This natural haven definitely merits the title of World Heritage Site.

Haron at Everglades National Park

When in Florida, it is worth allocating at least a day to visit the Everglades. From hikes to bird-watching or a boat tour the Everglades does not disappoint. This natural haven definitely merits the title of World Heritage Site.

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Everglades National Park Photos

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Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park, Florida USA

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